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Dems’ budget support still shaky in Senate; unclear if vote will happen

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on March 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm with No Comments »
March 8, 2012 7:44 pm

Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt predicts Democrats will force a vote in the Senate tonight on their budget that just passed the House, even though he says they don’t have the 25-vote majority they need.

“I think we’re 25 strong and maybe getting better,” Hewitt said.

So why vote? It’s “a blame game,” the Walla Walla minority leader said. Democrats are trying to pin the blame on Republicans for wanting to cut more to K-12 and more to higher education and for making the Legislature come back for special session, he said.

He said Democrats are to blame for trying to patch the budget shortfall with “Monopoly money.”

Just before, I talked to Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, who cast some doubt on whether the Senate would take the budget vote, and said her members are waiting to see what reform bills pass the House.

“Generally speaking, we do these things when we have the votes,” Brown said.

Centrist Democrats like Sen. Steve Hobbs have been demanding reforms as the price of their budget votes. UPDATE 7:40 p.m.: Hobbs has told Brad Shannon as everything stands now, he won’t vote to concur on the budget because there are too few reforms. He would be a potential 26th ‘no’ vote.

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